BV school board agrees to restructure finance department

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Berryville School Board voted to restructure the district's finance department Monday night.

Superintendent Phil Clark explained that the restructuring will include job duty changes and a new salary schedule for the four positions in that department, likely costing the district $35,000 more per year. Clark said the extra expense would be the result of changing salary schedules.

"This will allow the necessary changes to be made for this school district to become fiscally responsible and to correct the audit findings from past years," Clark said.

During the restructuring, he continued, the employees currently working in the finance department will be required to re-apply for their positions. Board member Chad Hipps expressed frustration with the plan, saying he doesn't understand why the district would spend more money to change the finance department when it needs help in other areas.

"We're losing our teachers to bigger schools for more pay. Therefore, our children are paying the prices. Our children are paying the price," Hipps said.

"I can't fix everything in one year," Clark responded.

Most of the positions, Clark noted, will need to be filled by July 1, 2016. He said the district will need to fill a business manager position sooner than that.

"If they have no school experience, we're going to have to spend the whole semester to train them because school finance is a different animal," Clark said.

The board also agreed to correct an audit finding of overpayment of a district employee. Clark said the employee was overpaid $3,170 last year. To correct the overpayment, Clark said the employee will have $280.91 withheld from their monthly paycheck over 12 months.

Clark notified the board of more overpayment, saying 73 employees were overpaid last year. He asked that the board not require repayment of that money, and the board agreed to do so.

Clark updated the board on the financial reports; at the end of November, he said, the fund balance was $2,415,610. Clark said the fund is less than last year at this time.

"We paid Christmas bonuses. That was an excess of $400,000 and unfortunately our local revenue in November didn't come in the same way it did in previous years," Clark said. "The revenue will come in. It just did not come in November like it did last year."

Clark presented enrollment information, saying enrollment was 1,972 at the end of November.

The board agreed to purchase two buses from Midwest Bus Sales for $193,654 for the 2016-17 school year, as well as a purchase of $52,922,50 from Dell for 11 Chromebooks.

The board approved several requests, including: a T-shirt sale and a chili dinner fundraiser for the wrestling team; baseball hat and T-shirt sales for the baseball team; a sunglasses sale for the softball team; ad sales for the athletic department; the solicitation of donations from local businesses for EAST; and travel to Missouri for the wrestling team.

The board accepted Cathy Bunch's resignation. Bunch was the district's treasurer. Angel Swallow, migrant aide, also resigned.

The board agreed to hire Barbara McDonald as a paraprofessional for the remainder of the 2015-16 school year. Missy Jackson was approved as a cheer coach volunteer, and Gustavo Villatoro was approved as the girls soccer coach. MaKenna Vaughn was hired to work with the migrant department beginning Jan. 5, 2016.

The board's next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21.

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